Episode 14: Two Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


A not-so-good episode this week, marred greatly by the spectacle of Sydney beginning therapy sessions with Kimberly (!), not to mention lots of Brooke and -- dare I say it? -- strong hints that Billy and Alison will get together again. Ack!

The Matt Slot this week belonged to ... Jo, whose main action is to wake up Richard in bed. (Oh boy!) A special Bad Fashion Award must go to Jane, who obviously ticked off her hairdresser. For a fashion designer, Jane is the one character who should not be allowed to leave the house without her mother's approval.

Peter, Amanda, and Bobby:

Bobby walks into Amanda's office at Dumb & Dumber (don't they ever use a receptionist?) and asks her out to lunch. She immediately declines ("I'm bulimic"), but he says she has the wrong idea: He wants to talk business. He's withdrawing the account for the cable company that Jack created; he doesn't want Amanda to constantly be in the shadow of the Ted Turner family...I mean, Parezi family. Amanda is, of course, skeptical, but Bobby insists that he doesn't follow the traditions of his family. (No meat on Fridays?)

Amanda and The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns (not to mention Michael, Sydney, and Kimberly) attend Wiltshire-Memorial Hospital's ball, where there's an announcement by the suddenly materializing Chairman of the Board -- no, not Frank Sinatra! Dr. Davis announces that they've just received a check for $100,000 to go toward the development of a new wing at the hospital, and it came from an anonymous donor who was brought on by Peter. This is news to The Bizarre One! Still, he smiles and accepts congratulations from everyone. The wing will be dedicated to the treatment of second-rate actors who appear on Aaron Spelling shows. Amanda sees Bobby standing off to the side and confronts him. "You did this so that Peter would owe you one, didn't you?" Bobby says he just wanted to do a Good Thing. Amanda and Peter wonder what's going on.

The next day, Peter is on the golf course. (Familiar territory for Jack Wagner, who often plays at those professional-amateur tournaments -- and does pretty well, actually.) Much to his displeasure, he's joined by Bobby, who says that he does want something -- but not what Peter and Amanda think. He wants to get into public relations and further distance himself from his family's criminal history. He'd like Peter to introduce him to some quality people. "Hmm, well, I do know Genie Francis..."

At Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), Peter and Bobby are getting drunk on Buds. (Oh, a Bud hangover is not a good one.) Peter introduces Bobby to Jake, who is understandably stand-offish when he learns that this is Jack's brother. Jake tells them that the bar is closing soon. Peter, surprised, says it's only around 8:30! (Jake is having financial problems.) Amanda pops up, stunned at the sight of Peter and Bobby bonding! Gee, all we need is a character named Greg, and we could have a Very Brady Melrose Place! Then the FBI shows up -- they want to take Bobby in for questioning. (Jake, don't close the bar now! More customers have come in!) Bobby shakes his head as though this is a necessary evil, and he goes with them quietly as Amanda and Peter again wonder what's going on.

Amanda later visits Bobby at the house he just moved into. She knows what he and Peter talked about ("Those new shows on the WB really do bite"), and she admits she was worried when the FBI came for him. When she mentions that he looks tired, he says, "Fighting the family history is tiring." Amanda sees that his place has been totally trashed, as though in a search. Bobby says the FBI did it -- they don't believe that he isn't involved in the family's activities. Amanda eventually admits that maybe Bobby has changed. He asks for her friendship. She says, "That's all I can give you. Please don't ask for anything more. Christmas is right around the corner, and I'm on a tight budget as it is!"


At Shooter's, Amanda tells Jake to get his financial act together -- his last couple of rent checks have bounced. Jo overhears this (what the hell are you doing in Shooter's anyway?) and asks Jake what's up: no more parties, no staff, no Shelly! Jake lies and says that Shelly went away. Jo doesn't buy it: "It's ME, Jake." "Yeah, so?"

Later, Jake walks into a seedy-looking bar: The Anti-Shooter's! Bad lighting, lots of smoke, and long-haired bikers! (Although I don't know how seedy a place can be that advertises snooker in big letters!) He maneuvers past the lowlifes and chats with "Monty." Jake asks for a "loan." (Say, is that the theme for "Jaws" I hear in the background?) Bye, Jake -- break a leg!


Medical student Matt interrupts a loud argument between a couple of theater types: A director is yelling at a man in bed with a concussion and some injuries -- he's a actor, and the director is furious at him with getting injured when he's supposed to be starring in a new production. (Showboat? Guys and Dolls? Platypus Man?) The director leaves, and the actor snarls at Matt for interrupting. Matt tells him to tone it down: "People are dying around here." "Yeah, so is my career! My agent said never, EVER do Melrose Place!"

Later, the actor (henceforth known as Joe Thespian until they name him) apologizes to Matt for his rudeness. He really wanted this part, and he's frustrated that he can't do it. Matt tells him that his concussion and the injuries are minor; he should be able to leave in another day or two. In discussing the role, Joe says that he and his father didn't get along too well. Matt tells him about his own father, and how they were able to patch things up just before he died. Gosh. They exchange meaningful glances.

As Joe is leaving the hospital, he bumps into Matt and tells him that he'll be able to stick with the part after all: His replacement, Donny Osmond, was assassinated. He thanks Matt for his help. Matt says, "Um, can I buy you a drink?"

Kimberly, Michael, Jane, Sydney, Jo, and Fashion Boy:

Kimberly celebrates her new office at the hospital! (Yeesh! From a padded cell to a padded chair in three months!) She thanks Peter for all his Bizarre help. Michael walks in with a security guard and demands that Kim be removed, saying she doesn't have her paperwork! Peter says, "You are a thorn in the butt of medical progress, Mancini," and displays the certificate stating that Kim is officially a psychiatric intern. Michael grumbles and threatens to organize a patient boycott (or a not-so-patient boycott, as the case may be).

Dream Sequence: Fashion Boy and Jane are in a naked embrace in a pool -- but whose dream is it? Fashion Boy's! Jo wakes him up. "What were you dreaming about?" "Oh, ahh .... you!" Jo then says something totally unbelievable: "I'd say, in the whole scheme of things, that our relationship is almost perfect." (What?!? The Bosnia-Serbia peace accord is a more perfect union!) KILLTHEMKILLTHEMKILLTHEM She's waiting for Richard to dissolve his partnership with Jane; he tells her the lawyers should be finished this afternoon. Jo's delighted, but she wants to be sure Jane doesn't get a raw deal -- her last few business relationships ended quite badly. (Ahh, any episode that reminds me of The Accent plot can't be all bad!) Richard says he'll be merciful. Yeah, like Darth Vader, I bet!

Syd goes to Kim's office and drops off a package from Peter. Kim does her empath impersonation: "I sense something is bothering you." (Thank you, Counselor Troi.) Syd replies sarcastically, "Wow, insane and a rocket scientist!" Kim just smiles and tells her that they've been much alike: living in Jane's shadow, stuck in psycho wards, parlaying part-time roles into full-time gigs.... She says that Syd should consider talking to her: "I'm here." Syd is confused. So am I! Confess your deepest, darkest secrets to the woman who just months ago threatened to burn off your face with an acetylene torch!?

Jane, with incredibly EVIL hair, chats with Richard at the office. She's a little put off that they don't talk like they used to. Although the engagement collapsed, she says there's no reason why they still shouldn't be friends, and she wants nothing but happiness for him and Jo. (Uh huh! Jane is still sticking to her lame Master Plan.) Let's get together for dinner! Richard agrees, saying that there's something he wants to tell her, too. (He's preparing to lower the boom about the business split.)

At the previously mentioned hospital ball, a stunning Kimberly shows up, though without a date. (Was Hannibal Lecter busy?) Michael, accompanied by Syd, steams over the possibility that the hospital will restore Kim's privileges. "It's like appeasing Hitler by giving him Czechoslovakia." Syd asks him, "So, why didn't you invite Jane to this?" "Keep it up, Syd, and that situation can be quickly remedied."

Dressed horrifyingly like one of the Killer Bees, Syd goes to Kimberly's office to talk. She admits she's not sure why she's here, but she's willing to give it a shot. "Since we know many of the same people," she says, "I'm going to use fake names." OK. "I live at this beachhouse with...'Bob,' and I think he's having an affair with my sister...'Edna'." She then gives up and just tells Kim flat-out that she's worried about what's going on. She knows that Jane can't really be interested in Michael: "She hates him!" Kim adopts a thoughtful look and says that the "unattainable" often loses its attraction when it's attained. Syd's eyes widen with understanding: "I should push Michael and Jane together -- call their bluff!" Kimberly schedules Syd for an appointment next week -- for free! (No charge from a therapist? How much more unrealistic can this show get?)

At a fancy restaurant for dinner, Jane and Fashion Boy talk some business, but this quickly devolves into chatting about how marvelous they each look. (Where are they eating -- Fernando's Hideaway?) Richard seems to be winding up to tell her the Bad News, when she suddenly mentions that she's having dinner with Michael! As if on cue, Michael appears and sits next to Jane! "Hey, Richie!" The hairs on the back of Richard's neck stand up -- or at least they would if they weren't lacquered down by a half-gallon of gel! He leaves in a huff. Just as Michael starts to relax, a bottle of fine wine is presented -- from Syd! She tells a stunned couple, "I'm open to an open relationship!" No matter what, she'll be there for Michael. "OK, now leave," he says, "before you burst into song." Jane also thinks about leaving, but he convinces her to dance. Syd watches them, getting more steamed by the second. Then she rushes over and pushes them apart! "I tried to put you two together, but I couldn't do it!" Jane splits; Michael fumes.

Billy, Brooke, and Alison:

Big Daddy's funeral is attended by a whopping four people! Where are Alison's friends -- you know, Jane, Jo, etc.? Obviously, Billy and Brooke don't have any friends. (Would YOU be their friend?) Alison lays a rose on the coffin: "This rose is a symbol of my love for Hayley Armstrong." Brooke looks at her evilly. She also puts down a rose; Billy uses a brick. "Daah, this brick is a symbol of my brain!" Alison looks devastated, but Brooke won't let Billy comfort her. The fourth person is Hayley's lawyer (Robert Walden from "Lou Grant"), and as he, Billy, and Brooke walk off, two police officers arrive to confiscate the limo! The lawyer informs Billy and Brooke that Big Daddy died broke! Brooke Grimaces! She demands to know what Alison did, and accuses her of killing him. Two MORE officers show up! (Bring down the whole precinct while you're at it!) They want to take Alison in for questioning. Alison Gapes! She looks at Brooke as she's led away: "You did this!" Billy shakes his head in amazement: "My Gahd, you called da police." "I had to -- in the name of Justice!" Watch out, Wonder Woman!

Downtown, Alison tells her story ad nauseam to a skeptical detective. She eventually refuses to say more without a lawyer. That's the last thing this show needs -- more lawyers!

At the reading of the will, we learn that Big Daddy left a $1 million trust fund to Brooke's mutant offspring. "ONE MILLION?" Brooke exclaims. "For the baby, not you," says the reader. (The trust fund was protected against Hayley's recent troubles.) But there's nothing for Alison! According to the papers, they were divorced last week! Sure enough, it was the "real-estate" papers that Hayley made Alison sign in a hurry. Brooke gloats! Billy chastises her, but a shocked Alison wonders if Brooke and Hayley planned this. "How else could they have done this?" "Easy, Alison," Brooke says, "you're not exactly the brightest kid in class!" "Shaddup!" says Billy. Brooke then amazingly tries to pull the wedding ring off Alison's hand, saying "It's mine now!" (Ooooo, kinky!) Enter subtitle: Billy is disgusted.

At D&D, Brooke tells Amanda that she's resigning. She's having a tough time juggling a career, impending motherhood, and dozens of useless acting lessons. A less-than-sympathetic Amanda knows that Brooke will be sitting on the million dollars, but "I thought the inheritance was for your child." Well, Brooke is executrix of the will, so she has no problems! She asks Amanda for a couple of days off "to grieve." Billy then walks in and reminds her of her manicure appointment! As Brooke leaves, Amanda tells Billy, "Next to Brooke, Alison is Mother Teresa." Billy says, "Gaaah, Alison's a nun?!!" "No, you moron! It was a metaphor!" "Daah, Metaphor? Didn't he fight Godzilla?" Outside, the detective tells Alison the police are satisfied that no foul play was involved in Hayley's death.

Late at night in D&D, Billy finds "Al" gathering the Armstrong account files. (Where did this nickname come from?) She's still hurt by Big Daddy's apparent betrayal and is not in the mood to chat. He suggests that Hayley may have divorced her to protect her from any financial liability. "Billy, Hayley was my family." She adds that Brooke "is hell-bent on destroying me." "Daah, no, she's not." "Well, then, you're fooling yourself." What else is new?

The next day, Amanda announces that she'll go in Alison's place to a big meeting for Colfax Software. Alison objects, but Amanda says that in light of recent events, she's not sure if Alison can pull it off. Alison pleads with Amanda not to punish her; she's already been through hell. She won't crack. Amanda, continuing her "nice" streak this season, relents.

At the hotel, the first round of meetings has gone extremely well, and Alison and the clients say their goodnights. Alison peers into the bar and thinks she sees Hayley! Stunned, she wanders over to the man, but when he turns around, it's Dan Quayle! Alison's walls begin to crumble. Almost without thinking, she sits down at the bar and orders a vodka on the rocks.

That morning, Billy is going through messages at the receptionist's desk. (Good God! They've hired a receptionist!) He overhears some discussion and learns that Alison missed her morning meeting with Colfax. He offers to deliver the message to Amanda, but instead he tries calling Alison's room at the hotel. No answer. He makes a decision, and heads for the hotel. When he gets in her room, he calls out, "Al? Al?" He then sees an empty vodka bottle. He finds her out on the patio, with a second bottle! She is plastered. He tries to comfort her, but she gets angry: "Shtopp pretending you care!" She screams at him to get out and throws the bottle at him! (Unfortunately, a miss.) He grabs her, and she eventually relaxes and begins to sob: "Why did he divorce me? I loved him so much!"

Next Week: Christmas Party! Who's been naughty and nice, as the promo says? Michael and Jane tumble into bed, bad hairdo and all! Brooke finds Billy and Alison together in the hotel room and jumps to the wrong conclusion! Oh, be quiet, Brooke! You're a miserable wench!

--Ken Hart

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